A Swiss aviator who has developed a jet-powered wing that he straps to his back will fly for the first time in the United States at a tourism attraction near Las Vegas.
Yves Rossy, known as “JetMan,” plans to fly Friday at Grand Canyon West, 120 miles east of Las Vegas, an attraction managed by the Hualapai Indian Tribe.
The tribe has developed an attraction on 9,000 acres along the rim of the canyon that includes a lodge, a replica western village, several viewpoints along the canyon rim and the Skywalk, a horseshoe-shaped, glass-bottomed walkway that extends from the rim 4,000 feet above the canyon floor.
The tribe also offers visitors off-road travel, horseback riding and whitewater rafting on the Colorado River as part of its tourist packages.
Rossy, who has flown his jet wing over Lake Geneva and the English Channel, has been in negotiations with the tribe for two years to plan the Grand Canyon flight, which is expected to last about 10 minutes.
Southern Nevada aviation officials have been apprised of the flight and say Rossy will be in compliance with Federal Aviation Administration regulations.
Sponsored by Swiss luxury watchmaker Breitling, which has several aviation-related interests, Rossy has upgraded jet-wing models for nearly 20 years.
Rossy and his jet wing, which has a 6 1⁄2-foot span, fly an average speed of 125 mph.
Rossy, 51, has flown for the Swiss air force and as a commercial pilot for Swiss International Air Lines.
His “JetMan” flight is expected to occur near Guano Point and Eagle Point at Grand Canyon West.